She is correct—the smugglers’ business model does need to be undermined.

But this plan won’t do it: As long as people are desperate to leave, unscrupulous smugglers will find ways to sell them the hope of a better life—or a life, period—on the other side of the sea. Wars, poverty, and other emergencies that the international community fails to respond to will continue feeding the supply of potential refugees.

What will stop the exodus is to address the emergencies where they happen—and to create easier, legal pathways for immigration and asylum, so that there’s no demand for smugglers’ services.

That’s how to put them out of business.

No one would risk dying at sea if there is an alternative. But right now, there isn’t.

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